A new study from Boston University School of Medicine (USA) has shown that children who eat 4 or more portions of fruit and vegetables and 2 portions of dairy products each day are more healthy than those who don’t.
The team used data from 95 kids, aged 3 to 6. They were all followed for 8 years – until they were young teenagers. All the children kept food diaries and had their blood pressure, weight and height regularly monitored. Parents filled in the food diaries when the children were very young. As they got older the children themselves assisted in keeping the diaries.
The researchers found that the children who ate 4 or more portions of fruit and vegetables, in conjunction with 2 portions of dairy products each day had lower blood pressure. Interestingly, it appeared to make no difference whether the dairy products were low-fat or not.
Jill Eisberg, Chief Executive of The Dairy Council said:
“This new study is one of a number which are showing that parents should make sure that their children eat a balanced diet.”
Notes to editors
Recommended dairy portion sizes for children are:
- Age 1 – 3: 100ml whole milk, 80g whole yogurt, 15g piece of cheese
- Age 4 – 7: 100-125ml whole or semi-skimmed milk*, 80-100g whole or low-fat yogurt*, 15-20g piece of cheese
- Age 8 – 10: 150ml semi-skimmed milk, 125g low-fat yogurt, 25g piece of cheese
- Age 11 -18 (teenage girls): 200ml semi-skimmed milk, 150g low-fat yogurt, 30g (small matchbox-size) piece of cheese
- Age 11 -18 (teenage boys): 250ml semi-skimmed milk, 200g low-fat yogurt, 35g piece of cheese
- Adults (19+): 200ml semi-skimmed milk, 150g low-fat yogurt, 30g (small matchbox-size) piece of cheese
* Semi-skimmed milk and low-fat products can be given to this age group if the child is a good eater and has a varied healthy diet.
- Moore L et al (2005). Intake of Fruits, Vegetables, and Dairy Products in Early Childhood and Subsequent Blood Pressure Change. Epidemiology 16: 1, 4-11